Item description for The Man from the Diogenes Club by Kim Newman...
In the swinging seventies, Richard Jeperson--secret agent of the Diogenes Club--solves crimes too strange for Britain's police. His fashion sense is gaudy, his enemies deadly, his associates glamorous.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.2" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Jun 25, 2006
Publisher MonkeyBrain Books
ISBN 1932265171 ISBN13 9781932265170
Availability 0 units.
More About Kim Newman
Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes the "Anno Dracula "novels, "Life's Lottery" and "Mysteries of the Diogenes Club", and "The Vampire Genevieve" as Jack Yeovil. His other non-fiction books include "Ghastly Beyond Belief" (with Neil Gaiman), "Horror: 100 Best Books" (with Stephen Jones), "Wild West Movies", "Millennium Movies "and BFI Classics studies of "Cat People "and "Doctor Who". He is a contributing editor to "Sight & Sound "and "Empire" magazines, has written plays for BBC radio, and directed and written a tiny film "Missing Girl". His official web-site, 'Dr Shade's Laboratory' can be found at www.johnnyalucard.com.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Man from the Diogenes Club?
Retro-fueled psychic detective stories with a cool Avengers vibe! Jun 20, 2008
Kim Newman's work always strikes me as having a certain `kid in a candy shop' sort of feel to it, or maybe that's just a reflection of my own enthusiasm for wallowing in a fantasy world so rich in pop culture and literary references that it might make even the most committed Wold Newton enthusiast's head spin! Whatever the case, whether it's Newman or just my own predilection for his work, I find his writing to be infused with an undeniable sense of fun, no mean feat when it also encompasses a range of ghastly ghoulies, murderous madmen and things that generally go bump, squish and splat in the nighttime! Of course it isn't all just a question of revisiting childhood influences as Newman also cleverly weaves in delightful strands of, often biting, social and political satire creating a rich texture that elevates what might otherwise appear as simply wearing his influences, in garish bright colours, on his sleeve. Nowhere is Newman's knack for meta-pastichery more apparent than in the ongoing stories built around his version of the Diogenes Club.
In his all-encompassing vampire epic ANNO DRACULA, Newman reinvented the Diogenes Club more or less along the lines of Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which is to say as a top-secret government organization involved with strange doings (submarine disguised as the Loch Ness monster anyone?). In essence a sort of X-Files/Men in Black outfit keeping England's shores safe from supernatural, psychic and alien oddities, for generations. While Newman has set Diogenes Club stories in differing eras from the 1880s onwards, the present volume concerns itself with stories mostly set in the late 1960s and early 1970s, not coincidentally a period in which a young Kim Newman (b. 1959) would have been at his most impressionable. The influence of Doctor Who, The Avengers/New Avengers, Hammer Films, Department `S', The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, etc...as well as a wealth of occult mystery related books in vogue at the time, are patently obvious and concentrated in the development of über-flamboyant psychic investigator Richard Jeperson, and his assistants the `model beautiful', but lethal, Vanessa and the ever-reliable policeman Fred Regent. On the most superficial level think blend of Hope Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost Finder with The Avengers and Jason King and you wouldn't be far off the mark.
The eight stories in THE MAN FROM THE DIOGENES CLUB rounds up nearly all of the previously published Jeperson series, but also includes The Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train, which is unique to this collection. In the introductory Fred Regent story The End of the Pier Show our heroes visit a seaside town where old men hankering after a return to the `good old days' of 1941 have magically created an apport to do just that. Vanessa risks brainwashing at Pleasant Green, a psychiatric vetting center for highly placed government employees, only to see the mysterious Mrs. Empty slip away to inflict untold damage on a future generation in You Don't Have to Be Mad. When an award-winning author is found bludgeoned to death with his own Hugo in the not-so-utopian futuristic experiment of Tomorrow Town, the Diogenes Club is called in to investigate. The Bunning family crypt seems to be the focus of ghostly manifestations in abandoned Kingstead Cemetery causing the Diogenes Club team to prevent mass murder by a madman with a pharaoh-fetish in Egyptian Avenue. When dirty DI Booth is found squashed flat in the center of the Soho sex-trade, the Diogenes Club comes up against holier-than-thou hypocrites, pimps, mobsters, a legendary burlesque queen and an invisible Soho Golem. When real deaths mimic those on a popular Northern soap series, Jeperson and co. suspect voodoo and join the cast in an effort to get to the bottom of The Serial Murders. In Newman's tour de force new novella The Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train we flash back to the 1950s as Jeperson relates the tale of the tragically haunted Scotch Streak, involving American missile codes, a medium, ghostly manifestations, how he met Vanessa and came to be the Most Valued Member of the Diogenes Club. Finally, it's 2003 and an aging Richard Jeperson is called in to visit the hereditary island kingdom of Skerra to stop a power-mad scientist from destroying the world in the James Bond homage Swellhead. Rounding out the book is an after word from Newman, explaining the evolution and development of the Jeperson series, and a good-sized glossary to help non-Brits understand some of the specific cultural and slang references. All enveloped in a suitably stylish day glow cover by John Picacio.
While some stories are certainly better than others, The Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train alone being worth the cover price, there is always plenty of humour, lots of strange goings-on, vast pop culture, literary and television references to strain the brain and even a bit of political and social commentary in the inimitable Kim Newman style, all of which makes for a thoroughly engaging collection. Now all we need is a similar collection featuring the exploits of previous Diogenes Club members from the 1890's (Charles Beauregard and Kate Reed) and 1920s (Edwin Winthrop and Catriona Kaye). THE MAN FROM THE DIOGENES CLUB is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys retro-fueled psychic detective stories with a cool Avengers vibe!
missing a certain something Aug 5, 2007
i enjoyed these stories enough to plan on trying some of newman's other work. the stories are well plotted, there are some very funny bits, most of the characters are interesting. and one surprise ending really comes out of left field. it was fun to play 'spot the reference' and there are also some sharp social observations.
but, in a ghost or paranormal tale, i want atmosphere, the feeling of 'otherness', of evil or eeriness, and none of these stories have that for me. the occult baddies came across as as only slightly strange villains.
diogenes Aug 26, 2006
Good book, but it took me a while to get over the whole Austin Powers references.
Give us more! Aug 10, 2006
I belong to that generation which, despte being actually born in the seventies, remember things only from the eighties. The images and life evoked in these stories can not and should not be taken as a socio/anthropo-logical study of the said decade, but should be read for pure-unadulterated fun. Richard Jepperson is a character whom you might meet at some point in your life, but characters like him make certain stories re-readable, which is a rarity among horror stories that are more of "fill it-shut it-forget it" variety. Enjoy them.
A fun, if a back dark, look back at the 70s Jul 25, 2006
This was a fun read. I'm an long time fan of PJF and his Wold-Newton universe and it appears that Mr. Newman is as well. I'm the target audience for this book, since I'm about the same age as Mr. Newman and have a lot of the same memories of the 70s, even though I grew up on the other side of the pond.
Richard Jeperson is an interesting hero. Dashing and confident, but with out the raw violence of Mac Bolan or Richard Camellion.